Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obama is full of shit


(Ed. note: For more on the politics of the debt ceiling debate, not that there's any real debate, see my post from yesterday, "Why the hell is Obama willing to give away so much just to get a debt ceiling deal done?" -- MJWS)
I don't think President Obama is a dick, but I do think he's full of shit – and I mean that in a the most adoring and respectful way possible.

The Huffington Post reports that House Speaker John Boehner gave an emphatic "NO!" to President Obama's proposal to cut Medicare and Social Security spending if Republicans agree to $100 billion in annual tax increases as part of the debt ceiling negotiations: 

Boehner is rejecting President Obama's offer to make historic cuts to the federal government and the social safety net, saying in a statement Saturday evening that he can not agree to the tax increases Democrats insisted on as part of the bargain. 

Unless Obama recently was lobotomized, this is just politics.

Putting "entitlements" on the table merely adds to the image of the president as a moderate negotiator, a sane, bipartisan national leader who's willing and ready to attack the big problems of the country by reaching across the aisle and making the unpopular decisions no president or Congress has been willing to make for decades.

He may want to appear as that guy, and he is appearing as that guy, but he's not actually trying to be guy – mainly because that guy would be an idiot.

Obama saw the incensed response from the electorate when House Republicans voted on a budget plan that essentially privatized Medicare. Members of Congress were being booed out of town-hall meetings by 90-year olds, for Christ's sake. The reaction wouldn't have been any different if Democrats had proposed it. And that is why I don't think Obama's "Grand Bargain" was made in good faith.

It was political posturing, pure and simple. Obama needed no contingency plan because he knew Boehner couldn't afford the political blowback within his party of accepting such a deal – not with the Norquistian Tea Partiers equating tax increases with treason. Republicans would have been slaughtered just as savagely by their constituents as Democrats would have been by theirs.

As Jay Newton-Small put it:

[T]the collapse of the grand bargain leaves President Obama in a more favorable political position. If both parties agree to cut $2 trillion from the budget with minor tax increases, he'll notch a bipartisan accomplishment. But he can also say he tried something more ambitious in putting cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table without facing the political fallout of actually slashing those programs. He went big and congressional Republicans – not to mention the noticeably silent 2012 Republican presidential candidates – didn't.

Well said.

Obama isn't a dick. He’s a political genius.

(Cross-posted at Muddy Politics.)

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1 Comments:

  • Obama is a dick that has made alot of empty promises. I can live with most of the lies but the one that bothers me the most is his promise to bring home all our troops. Why are we wasting so much time helping people that doesn't want to help them selves. And for the ones that do how will they ever learn on there own if we keep telling them how to do it. Bottom line is i feel as if i have been lied to and im sick of it. The worst thing this country has ever done is give Obama a 2nd term. You don't feel like he screwed it up enough the first time? And who the hell does he think he is trying to change our constitutional right with this so called gun control? The only people its gonna hurt is the honest. Criminals are called criminals for a reason. They will still get there hands on them and there will still be just as much if not more crime because Obama is basically making it easier for them to take what they want. If our representatives can see that they all need to be replaced.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:19 PM  

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